Apparently over 48% of golf course in the US remained open during the Covid-19 virus Pandemic, while here in Thailand all 250 courses remained closed.
However, there are plans in place to possibly allow some golf courses to reopen here on May 1st, although that will most likely be decided individually by each Thai province.
To be honest it was a bit crazy when the government were willing for thousands to risk catching the virus by forcing people to visit immigration centres, while a bit of outdoor exercise playing golf was totally banned.
That said, many General Managers at golf clubs around Thailand are now preparing for a relaxing of the total ban, by making sure not only their courses are ready for play, but that their staff are well briefed on how to handle their customers again.
Talking to Stuart Daly Operations Director at Banyan Golf Club in Hua Hin, he said they were expecting their local governor to decide what they could do around April 26th. ‘We will then explain to all our staff what procedures we will put into place. I expect there will be an initial rush for expats and locals to book rounds and then it will slow down, so we should be able to cope,’ said Daly.
Measures will include longer tee times between players, with possibly groups of 2-3 maximum golfers.
Caddies will all wear masks and gloves and will not touch players clubs. One player per cart and the caddie will stand on the back, while the golfer drives. Golfers will always wear masks as well.
John Blanch GM at Thai Country Club said, “We are actually still waiting for the Bangkok authorities to give us guidelines on when to open. We will also need to find out if we will be able to open our restaurants, or if all food sales will be made through our on-course kiosks.”
Golf is addictive as we all know, so I am sure there are many reading this article who cannot wait to get out and play 18 holes again. However, with these new precautions in place, it will pay to be sensible and avoid taking any unnecessary risks for some time.